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4 Computer Skills You Need on Your Resume

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4 Computer Skills You Need on Your ResumeAhhh, summer – a time for relaxing on the beach, late nights in the backyard, and kicking butt at your internship. But before you put away your backpack and textbooks, consider investing a few hours to develop some new computer skills.

Learning software programs and basic code literacy – directly related to your major or career or not – will help you become a better student. And a better hiring prospect – HR managers love to see “many hats” basic computer skills on a job candidate’s resume. Plus, additional software skills will show you’re tech savvy, curious, and an agile learner.

Mastering a new computer program or gaining additional credentials is a great way to get a job promotion, too, says Kapeesh Saraf, Director of Product for the online learning site, Coursera. “84% of Coursera learners report that the course helped them advance their careers,” says Saraf.

Developing your computer skills via MOOCs and free online learning sites is self-paced, flexible, mobile, and often free. Most sites offer free trials, some offer free auditing for non-credit, non-degree programs. “This is a great option for students who are unsure if a certain skill is right for them,” Saraf continues.

So, which basic computer skills might be right for you and your resume? We polled hiring managers about software programs that are must-knows and good-to-haves. Going beyond Microsoft Word, email, and social media, here’s what they said.

  1. Microsoft Excel

While you may have the spreadsheet basics under your =sum belt, Microsoft Excel is a need-to-know computer skill for college students and a must-master for finance, marketing, and STEM majors. Working with several data sets? We see a lot of pivot tables in your future. Have to combine lots of numbers across workbooks and various XLS docs? VLOOKUP will change your life. Then there’s a host of other handy visuals, charts, and formulas you can learn in a free online MOOC.

Auditing classes on Coursera is free (and you might get to say you went to Harvard, Penn, or Stanford!)

  1. WordPress

Everyone from web developers and social media superstars to editorial interns and design professionals can benefit from learning WordPress and likeminded content management systems (CMS). Whether you’ll be working on an ecommerce site, lifestyle blog, or personal portfolio, many of the sites you visit every day are done in WordPress – almost 30% of the internet, in fact – and it takes advanced training to go beyond the template basics.

Get a free trial month and learn WordPress on Lynda / LinkedIn Learning.

  1. Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a must-know program to master if you’re a graphic design major or web designer, but hiring managers also love to see this computer skill on your resume. Let’s say your boss needs a marketing brochure by Monday morning and the designer is on vacation: hello, brownie points! The company website needs new images? PSD is your middle name. Need to get all Snapchatty on a coworker’s headshot? Well, that’s a little weird, but who are we to judge your rainbow unicorns and pepperoni pizza skylines.

PluralSight offers a free trial and many Photoshop classes. ThinkEDU offers Adobe Creative Cloud at a student discount rate of $19.99/month.


Yes, HTML is an obvious must-master computer skill for software engineers and web developers, but everyone should have basic code literacy. From bold-ital-underline formatting basics and hyperlinks to displaying images properly and header tags, having basic knowledge of HTML on your </hireme> resume will be a huge asset when you’re applying to jobs.

Codecademy is a great resource for learning HTML via free online classes.


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